Fight the power

By By Jade Gray

By Jade Gray

Angela Davis called upon the more than 700 students and community members who flooded the Union Ballroom? on Wednesday to become activists against social injustice.

“We are not living the dream of Dr. King. We are celebrating the struggle to right social justice,” Angela Davis said in her keynote address for the U’s Martin Luther King Jr. Week.

Davis, who is famous for her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement and with the Black Panther Party, stressed that, in order for social change to occur, communities must unite.

“We are able to create this community today because so many people have worked in the past for this day to honor his legacy,” she said.

While progress has been made, Davis said there are racial inequalities that still need to be addressed and new types of racism to confront.

“Currently, people of color have a greater chance of going to prison than going to college,” she said.

Davis also expressed her dissatisfaction toward the current war in Iraq.

“When some say the word democracy, I hide,” she said. “The democracy that is being exported to different parts of the world ?by violence and war–that is not the type of democracy I want to be associated (with).”

Davis encouraged the audience to closely study history, particularly what the 13th Amendment has and hasn’t done to improve equality.

“We still live with the vestiges of slavery all over the country,” she said.

Karen Dace, associate vice president for diversity, said that historically, those who stand against social norms ?are commonly considered unpatriotic–she named Martin Luther King Jr. as an example, though he was later considered? a patriot.

“It has never been popular to speak up and out, but it has always been necessary,” Dace said.

Davis has dedicated her life to social activism and making the? world a more equal place. She grew up in Birmingham, Ala., where she learned “protocol about racism” as a child.

She has spent the past 15 years teaching at the University of California’s campus at Santa Cruz and has published eight books. Her latest focus has been on the social issues that surround incarceration.